Automatgenererad bild.
Published

7 June 2017

Youth workshop contributes to Mistra’s global monitoring

Scarce resources, digitisation and urbanisation were among the topics when upper secondary school students gathered for a workshop in Uppsala. It was part of an initiative that will give Mistra a better picture of young people’s views on sustainability.

How can digitisation and technological development, for example, contribute to Affordable and Clean Energy, the UN’s seventh global Sustainable Development Goal (SDG7), and how can the trend of growing individualisation be reconciled with SDG3, Good Health and Well-Being? At a workshop in Uppsala on 18–19 April, these were two of the questions for the participants to consider. Following Mistra’s brief presentation, they were divided into small groups that, after discussions, were able to propose solutions to five ‘megatrends’.

‘These questions are pretty complex. We’re now analysing the answers and conclusions, which will be part of a report we’re releasing later this spring,’ says Kim Jakobsson, CEO of the website Ungdomar.se, which hosts a youth forum called we_change.

The Uppsala workshop was one of several stops on the we_change tour this spring, visiting eight cities around Sweden. Upper secondary school pupils have had a chance to attend lectures, take part in workshops and discuss development and sustainability. This year is the sixth in which we_change has been organised by Ungdomar.se.

‘We cooperate with schools and municipalities in the various cities we’ve visited. We_change gives a picture of what young people consider important, and how the adults of the future see sustainability issues,’ Jakobsson says.

The megatrends workshop was part of an assignment that Ungdomar.se is carrying out for Mistra. In February, the organisation conducted a web survey on sustainability issues. According to the questionnaire replies received from some 1,100 young people, the great majority think the world needs to become more sustainable. However, only slightly over a third of the respondents state that they know how to create a better world, and only about half perceive that they can influence social trends in the right direction.

The questionnaire survey and the conclusions from the Uppsala workshop will now form the basis of a report about young people’s views on sustainability. This report is part of Mistra’s continuous global monitoring.

‘We’ve long wanted to get input from the younger generation about how they see sustainability issues. We’re going to use the results in our ongoing work on future research initiatives,’ says Malin Lindgren at Mistra.

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